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team member

Crystal A. Kolden, Ph.D.

Wildfire Climate Specialist/Fire Ecologist

Crystal holds a doctorate from Clark University in Geography, a Master’s of Science from University of Nevada, Reno in Geography, and a Bachelors of Arts from Cornell in History.  Crystal recently began work with Geo Elements providing fire spatial analysis.  She is currently an Assistant Professor of Geographer at the University of Idaho where she teaches and researches impacts of climate change on wildfire policy and management, and addresses integration of climate information into wildland fire management.  She’s a Certified Fire Ecologist with the Association for Fire Ecology. 

Her primary research is spatial analysis of wildland fire utilizing GIS and remotely sensed data to explore fire patterns and understand drivers of wildland fire.  She has conducted research throughout the western US and Alaska, focusing on both forest and shrubland ecosystems and working directly with federal and state land managers to identify problems that can be solved with applied research and development of management tools.  Crystal has published numerous research papers and management-oriented reports, briefs, and articles related to wildland fire and fuels management, fuels and vegetation, and climate-wildfire relationships.  She is an expert user of ArcGIS products, ENVI, ERDAS, IDRISI, several statistical software packages, FLAMMAP, FARSITE, BehavePlus, FireFamilyPlus, ArcFuels, and several additional wildland fire management models.  Additional information is available at